17

Good question! The positional priorities in this position do not really lie in whose bishop has more prospects, but rather in the emerging pawn structure, potential pawn breaks, and either side's ability to create targets and holes in opponent's camp. In short, c4 here is an extremely committal move which should only be played if it can be backed by very ...


17

This is a very famous position. Well, here are some reasons, and there are quite a few: Since this was a Candidate’s Match to qualify to play Spassky, it comes down to exact calculation above all. Fischer calculated that it was good, and his judgement bore out since the game only lasted another 12 moves. Here are some things that probably contributed to ...


12

The line usually quoted is 4.Bd3 Bxd3 5.Qxd3 Qa5+ 6. Bd2 Qa6! If White now exchanges Queens or allows the Queens to be exchanged he already has a poor endgame structure with a bad dark-square Bishop. Otherwise he will have difficulty Castling. Certainly White is not lost, but he has given away his first-move advantage. [FEN ""] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 ...


11

The rule of thumb is that the stronger side (the side trying to win) should put the pawns on the opposite color of his or her bishop (so that they don't get in the way), and the weaker side should put pawns on the same color as their bishop in order to defend them an extra time (defended with the bishop and the king, the opponent can never win a pawn). ...


10

Tactics. Trading dark-squared bishops is useful in the long run, but a4-Ba3 is a bit too slow to exchange the Bf8 that hasn't moved yet; Also you weakened the dark square b4 in the process. Black can take advantage of the misplaced Ra3 to attack the weak pawn on d4. After 12...Bxa3 13.Rxa3 Qe7! {eyeing both a3 and h4}, any rook retreat or protection would ...


10

First of all, your plan of keeping White's queenside blocked doesn't quite work out in any case: After e.g. 1...c4 2. Qe2 Qc7 3. b3 b5 White can simply continue attacking your pawn chain by 4. a4 and you cannot answer 4...a6 because of 5. axb5 axb5? 6. Rxa8. If you try to protect the rook by 2...Qc6, White can insert 3. Ne5 to displace the queen. But even ...


10

But I have never seen 4. Bd3 played in titled games. The reason could be that Black gets a superior version of the French Defense. In the French, Black blocks the natural diagonal of the c8-bishop and then struggles to solve this issue. They lose a lot of tempi to exchange the bad c8-bishop via b6, and Ba6. Here Black immediately trades the light-squared ...


9

Part of the problem with Bc5 is that they can respond with Na4, which threatens the bishop and grabs the tempo. Be7 isn't great because its range is inhibited by the knight and it impedes the kingside rook's power on the e file after you castle. Bd6 is nice because it is protected by the pawns, the bishop can be retreated to b8 or c7 while still controlling ...


9

This is a great example for explaining the concept of the bad bishop. In the center, we see an example of a pawn chain. White has pawns on d4 and e5, and black c6, d5 and (soon) e6. These are pretty immobile (until either side plays some pawn break). White's pawns are on dark squares, black's on white squares. As a result, black's white squared bishop is ...


8

Some points: White's "bad" bishop is already locked behind their pawns, your move doesn't change that, it's a feature of the opening white is playing. Long term white could go for Bc1-d2-e1-h4, or play b3 and Ba3. In fact in your proposed line of 1...c4 Qc2 2.Qc6 3.b3 b5, white has 4.Ba3. Note that if you don't play ...c4, Ba3 sometimes fails to ...cxd4 ...


8

1.Bxb2 and you're up a rook for a pawn. 1.Qxd1 Bxe5 and you're only up the exchange (rook vs bishop) for a pawn.


7

The other answers were great, but I think you could sum it up like this : the player who has built the stonewall is looking for a locked center so that he can benefit from the time to build up an attack on your king, funneling his pieces over in the vicinity of your king without having to worry about central counter-play. Doing c4 might superficially look ...


5

Several useful answers were given here last year, answers which illuminate the exceptions to the rule so well that—when the answers are read together—they seem almost to leave the rule itself in shadow. Let me cast my flickering light therefore directly upon the rule. The good and the bad bishop The technical adjectives "good" and "bad" have ...


5

...c4 is generally bad because it releases the tension on White's d4-pawn. This makes it much easier for White to get away with pushing e4, since the e3-pawn doesn't need to support the d4-pawn anymore. You're correct that White does have a weak hole on e4, but after playing Qc2 and Nbd2, he's ready to push e4 and gain a central initiative.


5

My understanding is that we call a bad bishop a "big pawn" especially in the endgame to emphasize the fact that the bishop cannot be considered a full piece in these situations. It can't move much. It is very passive. Having such a bishop is a long term handicap. You are right, these situations can also occur earlier in the game, but there is always a hope ...


5

Bd6 is the most active square. No, there's not an immediate threat but it does attack h2 which could turn into something later. Be7 is too passive. It's not smart to "protect against pins" that haven't even happened yet. There's lots of unpin combinations that actually lead to the pinning side being worse. Also, white can't really capitalize on a ...


5

Bd6 has two big advantages that haven't been mentioned. The first is that it protects the b8 square for your rook. Your rook naturally belongs on the half-open file, and White really wants to play Bf4 to keep you from doing that. (You can put your bishop on d6 later if that happens, but you've wasted a tempo and exchanging bishops makes it easier for the ...


4

e7 is a very passive square for the bishop. Since White is expected to castle on the kingside, there is no reason not to prefer ...Bd6 over ...Be7. The pin on the f6 knight is not too much of a problem precisely because a ..Bc7, ..Qd6 continuation is always on the table. ...Bb4 has a similar problem as ...Be7 because after 0-0 the bishop is doing nothing on ...


3

A "big pawn" bishop is kind of an informal term. In general it can be thought of as a bad bishop with especially limited movement. In the game you posted, that bishop could be considered a big pawn - there are pawns on its same colour, and they clearly restrict its movement. However, whether it's technically a bad bishop is debatable, since the b3- and d3-...


3

This was played almost at Fischer’s height of strength, so he almost surely would have won anyway after 66.Ke3 also. I think that white thought two things by playing 66.ba. First, that it reduced the number of pawns, which is almost always good when you are in a worse, or losing, endgame. Second, that the bishop might be able to defend a2 along the a2-g8 ...


3

Two same-colored bishops can, as you note, protect each other. And unlike two knights, they can keep protecting each other indefinitely, even if one has to move. But that doesn't overcome their drawbacks. The power of the two bishops is often because one can reach the squares the other cannot. With a mostly empty board, one of the two bishops can often ...


3

The term itself is rather simple. A "Bad Bishop" is one that is on the same color as most/all ( the higher the percentage, the worse the bishop) and is behind them, that is to say, the pawns are preventing it from attacking the enemy. If you can get your light-square bishop on the outside of your pawns, it's will no longer be bad, though it may have reduced ...


3

Two ideas that spring to my mind: Harass the bishop, and threaten to trap it / exchange it for a knight, with moves like h3, g4 and Nh4. Attack the squares/pawns the bishop has left behind, with moves like Qb3 targeting the b7 pawn, or Qa4 / Bb5 / Ne5 targeting the a4-e8 diagonal.


2

A "bad" bishop is one that is not performing the normal function of a bishop. That is usually one behind its own pawns. The test is, "if I replaced the bishop with a pawn, would it make any difference?" If the answer is no, then it is a bad bishop. A Bishop can be behind a wall of pawns and still be very useful. Say there is a bishop on g7 in front of its ...


2

With a light squared bishop, you (usually) want your pawns to be on opposite colored squares, i.e. the dark squares. This is particularly true because the opposing bishop is dark squared. The pawns are supposed to protect each other (on dark squares). In doing so, they block the opposing bishop. Your bishop is supposed to "cover" those (light) squares not ...


2

My understanding is that the dark squared bishop on g7 in this opening is a strong defensive piece and should be preserved there if possible. White I know will typically try to trade off this bishop to enhance his own kingside attacking chances, by playing his dark squared bishop to e3 and supporting it with his queen on d2 so he can penetrate with this ...


2

You are correct, 66.bxa4+ is an inaccuracy and gives Black a winning advantage. Stockfish gives 66.Ke3 a -0.64 evaluation, which remains constant as it quickly reaches higher depths of searching (+depth 60). This indicates the game was probably objectively a draw if White hadn't captured on a4 (though it wouldn't have been fun).


1

Indeed, every time a player has a restricted bishop, it was his choice! You can put your pawns in squares of the color you want. When you are left with a bad bishop, you probably did it to avoid a greater evil. It depends. It's not as much about the squares it can't go. It's about what the bishop is doing on the squares it can actually go. In your example, ...


1

It is slow. At a time you should be developing and getting the rest of your pieces out, you play c4, meaning that eventually to get your standard play with b5-b4, you will need to finish your development, then move your queen again, and only then get in b5-b4. That gives time for white to do a lot of different things, depending on how you develop. You will ...


1

A look at this position should make it clear that two bishops on the same color are usually worth less than a pair of bishops on opposite colors. B6k/1B5P/2B5/3B4/4B3/5B2/6BK/7B w - - 0 1 This position is drawn because of the wrong rook pawn, even though White is comfortably ahead in material. If one of those Bishops were on a dark square, White wins ...


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